KYOTO – Japanese biologists have produced an embryonic stem cell from a monkey that can be used to replicate any organ in its body, following similar successes in the United States and Australia, paving the way to create human organs for medical use in Japan.
Norio Nakatsuji, a professor at Kyoto University’s Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences who headed the Japanese group, said Monday that his team produced the ES cell of a crab-eating macaque from part of an in vitro-fertilized egg, noting one such ES cell from the monkey can be created from every four or five fertilized eggs with their technology.
“The successful creation of an ES cell from a monkey will help Japanese biologists produce cells of human beings (with this technology) in the future,” Nakatsuji told a press conference at the university in Kyoto.
The group said that an ES cell can be created from every four or five fertilized eggs they work on. This is considered a very high success rate.
Biologists at the University of Wisconsin created such cells using fertilized human eggs in 1998; researchers in Australia recently achieved similar success.
Scientists believe the cells can help cure Parkinson’s and other serious diseases.
such as disease could be cured by developing new organs from an ES cell, which can grow into any organ, nerve or bone.
The Japanese Science and Technology Agency is currently studying research guidelines, including an ethics code, for a project to make ES cells of human beings.
Nakatsuji and his group are scheduled to report the results of their work to the International Congress on Differentiation and Cell Biology in Australia on Sept. 26.
Shiga University of Medical Science, Kinki University and pharmaceutical firm Tanabe Seiyaku Co. are also involved in the Japanese project.
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